NCAA Basketball Picks: Florida Gulf Coast vs. Florida

Joe Freda

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 8:21 PM GMT

Tuesday, Mar. 26, 2013 8:21 PM GMT

Will the Eagles continue their cashing ride here, or will Florida prevail as big ‘chalk’ in Arlington? Let's breakdown this matchup as we look for the best College Basketball betting value on offer.


The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles have been the talk of “March Madness,” advancing into the tourney’s “Sweet Sixteen” with a pair of upsets as the South Bracket’s No. 15 seed. Friday’s NCAAB matchup has Andy Enfield’s squad with another tall order against the Florida Gators, who opened their campaign with a pair of double-digit victories.

Let SBR be your 2013 NCAA Tournament Betting headquarters.

Gators, Rosario down Minnesota

Florida’s latest triumph came in Sunday’s 78-64 victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers, cashing as a 7 ½-point favorite. The Gators lit up the floor in Austin with 56.8 percent field shooting, including a 10-for-20 mark from three-point land. 

Gators guard Mike Rosario piled in a season-high 25 points, while adding two of his side’s seven steals. Florida’s Patric Young and Scottie Wilbekin notched seven boards and six assists, respectively, while uniting to finish with 17 points. 

The duel’s combined 142 points soared above the ‘total’ of 125, ending a 3-0 UNDER run from the Gators’ prior trio of contests. Florida sank 26-of-36 free throws, while being outrebounded by Minnesota, 27-24.

Eagles fly past San Diego State

Florida Gulf Coast followed up Friday’s shocker over Georgetown with Sunday’s 81-71 victory over the San Diego State Aztecs. Eagles guard Bernard Thompson put up 23 points, equaling his mark against the Hoyas, hitting 9-of-15 buckets from the floor. 

FGC’s Sherwood Brown logged a team-high eight rebounds, while mate Brett Comer notched a second straight double-double with 10 points and 14 assists. Eagles sophomore Eric McKnight recorded four of his squad’s five blocks, while uniting with Thompson for seven steals.

The contest’s 152 points leaped beyond the ‘total’ of 134 ½, lifting the OVER to 3-0 in the Eagles’ last trio of duels. Florida Gulf Coast outscored the Aztecs in the second half, 47-36, finishing with a 55.9 percent mark of field shooting.

Back Florida as heavy ‘chalk’

The NCAA Basketball odds makers at 5Dimes.eu opened Florida as an 11 ½-point favorite, with initial betting action on the Gators quickly driving the number north to 13. Billy Donovan’s squad has reached the “Elite Eight” for the past two seasons, while not having faced Florida Gulf Coast since a 94-60 home win, four years ago. 

I am adding a ticket on Florida here to my sports picks, looking for the Gators to end FGC’s run of upsets with a statement win at Cowboys Stadium.

Florida has held foes to 55.9 PPG over its last 14 contests, going 3-2 ATS in the span’s five matchups as a double-digit favorite away from home. The Gators pulled away from their first two “March Madness” foes, with Rosario and Co. drawing another spot here to outclass its opposition. 

Florida Gulf Coast has been a cashing machine with its upsets, but steps on a bigger stage here in the “Sweet Sixteen.”  The Eagles had their share of inconsistency during the year, including an 88-67 loss to the Duke Blue Devils in the team’s only regular-season game against a ranked foe.

Look for the Gators to jump out early here and pull away in the second half, with Donovan firing up his troops to not look past FGC. 

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Florida Gators – 13 (5Dimes.eu)

Before placing your picks, take a look at our NCAA Tournament Betting: Sweet 16 Seeding Trends.

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